Wine & Cheese ~ 74th Serving

wine n cheeseWelcome to Wine & Cheese, my weekly, Wednesday whine session.

Every week on Wednesday I devote a blog to whining. Despite being a really happy, positive person, I do have things that annoy me at times.

I never let anything grate on my nerves for long but thought it would be fun to vent them periodically in my blogs.

I also feel that good things, the cheese in life, should be acknowledged as well.

I’m even going to throw in a bit of dessert, a piece of virtual chocolate, something that made me laugh or smile just a bit more than normal.

If you’d like to read the past editions of Wine & Cheese just click HERE for all of the past postings.

Sit back and join me now for the 74th serving of some wine and cheese!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

WINE

:(  I have been up to my eyeballs in crisis management of sorts.  Where to begin?

:(  Dad is adjusting to the nursing home, and while he looks SO good and just over all is in such better health now that he isn’t smoking or drinking, gets good meals etc, it is still hard to see him there in a nursing home.  Mind you, this place is top notch, like what I figure rich folks would be happy residing within the walls. The place is AWESOME!  But still, he no longer can get anywhere quickly, even with his walker.  And while he has more freedom in many ways (he can now attend mass daily, has friends and isn’t lonely in that big house by himself), he doesn’t feel like he did in his own home.  I know that I’m facing his mortality head on too.  That is difficult.

:(  Mom is recovering like a champ from her last cancer surgery, but again, facing the fact that she isn’t going to live forever is not fun.

:(  I am SO strapped for cash right now that it isn’t even funny.  So any blip on the “you need money to pay for this” radar screen is going to have to crash and burn, I have nothing period!  So a kitten who suddenly stops playing, sits in one place for hours and hours and is drooling like a faucet was enough to have me in tears all the way to work Tuesday.  The story on KLOVE for their Home For the Holidays contest broke the damn resulting in  a river of tears for 28 miles.

:(  I think one of my cats has fleas.  Which no doubt means the other cat does too. SIGH.  That other cat, every couple of days pukes up what she eats, just once for the day, if I feed them canned food. But still, nothing says “YUCK” like feline “feels like cold oatmeal” barf on the rug. Ewwwwww.  The dog, I believe she has mange.  Again. Attacking that as best I can but finding time to bathe her in the special shampoo that I am nearly out of (and it ain’t cheap) is hard to do right now.  Then the kitten. Oh that little bad ass dare devil.  She took a 12 foot fall and failed to land on her little feet.  Thankfully she will be okay, thanks to a critter angel I cannot thank enough (she footed the vet bill).  But she has some injury to her back right leg, and her jaw.  Nothing broken but very tender and she must have been in a lot of pain because she was salivating like she was being paid by the drop.   “Welcome to our zoo, stop by the gift shop for Avon, jewelry candles, and hippie oils and scents.” (That was courtesy of the Knight who thinks he is SO funny).

This is the Anderson Ferry, the same one that carried the semi that I was certain would be certain death.

This is the Anderson Ferry, the same one that carried the semi that I was certain would be certain death.

:(  My trip to get the kitten checked out required leaving work early to go 28 miles home, then get the kitten and head back to Ohio to the vet.  To cut the distance and time in half if I took the ferry over the Ohio River.  Now mind you, I don’t LIKE the ferry much.  I am not a fan of any body of water I cannot see the bottom, and fast moving, debris filled rivers are high on the list.  But it is the quickest way to the west side of Cincinnati from where I am in Kentucky.  So, I pull up to wait on the ferry, and 2 vehicles ahead of me is a semi.  My jaw dropped.  My thought was “no way pal, they are NOT going to let that big ass truck on that boat, ain’t happening sucker.”  The driver, once the ferry arrived from Ohio and emptied of cars, flagged the car ahead of me, me, and the guy behind me, around him.  This seemed to confirm for me that he was not going to be riding the ferry with his truck.  Usually when you board the ferry, they fill the middle, then each of the sides.  This time?  They had us pull one in the middle front, then one on each side of the front, in a neat row.  That is when I realized OH HOLY CRAP they are pulling that damn rig on to this boat.  There is no turning back now.  And with that, I feel the truck start to get onto the ferry, and the front end of the boat lifts up out of the water as the truck slowly inches aboard.  As it got further on, in the middle, things returned to normal but much lower in the water.  More cars now got on either side, and then we began to move SLOWLY across the river, my thought? OMG WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!  I was certain the ferry would sink and my kitten and I were bound for the pearly gates.

CHEESE

:)  No matter how insane life is, mine is so full of blessings that I am never lacking for something to be thankful for each day.

:)  While mom won’t live forever, and 3.5 years ago I was feeling embarrassed and like some kind of failure having to move in with my mom after my divorce, I was able to spend so much quality time with her, my sister and nieces.  We all laughed daily, the memories I have of the Diva Den are priceless ones.  And now, once again, just as mom says, “wait a  year, the landscape of your life will be very different than it is now”, mine has changed and it is awesome.

:)  I love coming through the cut in the hill on 75N in the morning and the first sight of the city of Cincinnati is gorgeous.  Either lit up when it was dark (before the time changed), or as the very first light of the sun is starting to touch the faces of the buildings along the river front, it always makes me smile. I love my home town!  Sure, I moved away, to northern Kentucky, but now I get to see this view of my beloved city every morning.

:)  While it IS a pain to have to confine the kitten to our room and have her walking all over us while we’re trying to sleep…there is something so priceless about waking up to find her snuggled in against my stomach or my boyfriend’s back, sleeping deep and contently.  You can’t buy that in a store!

:)  A hot, fresh cup of coffee first thing in the morning. Simple things just make my day.

DESSERT

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Wine & Cheese ~ 70th Serving

wine n cheeseWelcome to Wine & Cheese, my weekly, Wednesday whine session.

Every week on Wednesday I devote a blog to whining. Despite being a really happy, positive person, I do have things that annoy me at times.

I never let anything grate on my nerves for long but thought it would be fun to vent them periodically in my blogs.

I also feel that good things, the cheese in life, should be acknowledged as well.

I’m even going to throw in a bit of dessert, a piece of virtual chocolate, something that made me laugh or smile just a bit more than normal.

If you’d like to read the past editions of Wine & Cheese just click HERE for all of the past postings.

Sit back and join me now for the 70th serving of some wine and cheese!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

WINE

:(  I really have NO tolerance for stupid drivers.  On the way in today, on the highway doing 70mph, I watched a semi barely avoid running into the rear end of a car in the lane 2 over from mine.  I have NO idea what the moron was doing, but he found himself on the tail end of the car in front of him and without looking swerved to his right barely missing the car as he shot into the other lane to his right.  Fortunately there was no one in that lane or he’d have caused a major accident.  Seriously people, put the damn cell phones down, books (yes I have seen people driving and reading books or newspapers!), makeup (really ladies, no one at the office needs to be that impressed that it’s worth risking your life and mine – paint the face at home or in the parking lot at the office) and just DRIVE!

:(  While I do love summer, not real fond of storms.  Severe ones could happen today, and I dislike that.  Yet we need that kind of weather here at work.  Severe storms mean lightening that causes house fires, and wind damage.  We get paid to fix the damage left behind.  We need it but I don’t have to like it.

:(  Missing my honey.  Long hours this week mean we see each other as we’re crawling into bed at night.  Though if I have to chose between times to be apart, I do prefer to sleep next to him at night, I feel much safer that way, than be alone over night.

CHEESE

:)  Got to see some of the Tribe last night from the direct sales circles.  Love my gal-pals and it just motivated me all the more!  And I signed up for another direct sales business…jerky!  WOOHOO!  I couldn’t help it, $12 to start another business was too good to pass up and I know SO many folks that love good beef, buffalo and turkey jerky.  They even have jerky for cats and dogs.  LOVE it!  And yes, if you want to sign up under me, I’d love to have you in my downline, just go to my site and follow the links!

:)  It’s COLD in this office and I am so happy about that.  No complaints, as outside it is SO humid.  I don’t mind, but as one of my favorite weather forecasters here in Cincy said, outside it is “air you can wear”.

:)  I got my new jammies in my Avon order.  I know that is crazy, but I really do LOVE jammies.  Modest, fun lounge wear styles that I can sport while I take the dog out to pee without giving the old guy next door heart failure.  I may buy a second pair of these, they are so cute.  Coca-Cola ones from Avon.  They will be in an upcoming brochure for those wanting to buy some.  :)

:)  It’s dinner with the Divas today.  I enjoy my family and while I’m bummed that I cannot be there with my honey, it is nice to have my Diva time with my mom and sister.

 

DESSERT

Oops…almost forgot.

This made me laugh out loud, I’ve watched it several times. Enjoy!

Friday Confessional

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It is time to slide into the confessional and let it all out again.  Mamarazzi is on a blog break so they are linking up over at High Heeled Love.  Come on, you know you have  stuff to get off your chest!

:)  Naughty – Oh I have been a really bad girl this week….yes really bad.  I went and got myself involved in one of these time wasting, online games.  On Facebook.  I am so darn stuck in FarmVille2 that when I’m out running errands I have this nagging thought in the back of my brain that I might have forgotten to harvest something and will return to a field of withered plants.  It is just pathetic, I know.  They are just computer pixels, not real fruits and veggies, yet I let this eat at me.
:)  I didn’t care – Okay, I confess.  The Cincinnati Reds were in the baseball playoffs…and I did not give a flying frog’s butt.  Really.  I am a hometown girl, I love my city and our teams, but it is October.  WHY is the baseball season so long now??  It used to be long over by now didn’t it?  Sorry but it is FOOTBALL season now, I don’t care anymore about baseball, those are the boys of summer.  I also wasn’t the least bit surprised they choked and blew it in the final game yesterday.  And I just didn’t care.

:)  Meat – as in deer, ground venison.  My son got his first deer of the season and brought his mama a few pounds.  It is going to be mixed into my now famous, black bean chili.  I will use both the venison and ground round, but not going to tell anyone around here in the Diva Den.  They’ll only know if they read this today.  But bet me they will forget by the time I get around to making it.  Waaahaaaahaaaaa……

:)  Over Indulgence – I’m using donating blood today as an excuse to over eat.  Cannot have me passing out and hitting floor, right?

10 Restaurants I Love

As part of the 100 Things I Love, here is a list of 10 restaurants that I just love!

  1. Chipotle Mexican Grill – this is the top of the food chain for me.  LOVE this place.  My all time favorite dish is the steak bowl, with white rice, black beans, corn salsa and cheese.  It must be eaten with chips, and a plastic fork.  Not sure why the plastic fork, it is an OCD thing with me, I cannot ever eat it with a metal fork for some reason. Go figure.  I cannot live anywhere that does not have a Chipotle.
  2. Holy Grail - West - LOVE this place!  Great place to catch any sport on TV, eat awesome food and drink a few cold ones. Love the atmosphere.  I prefer to sit outside on the patio so needless to say it is a favorite in the nice weather.  LOVE me some Goebel’s Reuben Wontons!
  3. Price Hill Chili – You cannot live on the west side of Cincinnati and not eat here.  If you move to the west side, you cannot be an official west sider (the best side of the city by the way) until you’ve had your first meal here.  They have way many more things to eat than chili.  Every political candidate that rolls through our town has to eat here, famous people come to town and eat here. Go figure.  It is THE place to run into someone you know, so it is not recommended if you are having an affair on your significant other.
  4. Dancing Wasabi – I only just became a sushi lover this year, thanks to my daughter.  OMG this is amazing. LOVE the atmosphere and the food.  She has me hooked on sushi now!
  5. Drew’s On The River – Nothing beats a few cold ones and whatever sounds yummy to eat while watching the river traffic or a live band.  Another great place to be outside when the weather is nice. Nothing fancy, just a fun place.
  6. Skyline Chili – If you are going to be in Cincinnati, the best chili ever is Skyline.  It is a Cincinnati thing and it is GOOD stuff.  4-way bean for me.  What that means to those unfamiliar, spaghetti noodles with the chili, beans and cheese.  Only way to eat it in my opinion.  Skip the onions, rude to talk after you have eaten it with onions.  Besides that would be a 5-way if you add onions and I’m trying to watch my hour glass figure.
  7. Sebastian’s is next on the list.  Simply the very best Gyros around, ever!  Trust me I have had them all over, and no one makes a gyro this good, that simple!
  8. Plaza Vallarta here in my township is the best Mexican around. Love this place, the chips and salsa are great and the service is pretty impressive.  My favorite place when I have a hankering for some steak fajitas.
  9. Nicholson’s Tavern & Pub – “Cincinnati’s First and Finest Gastropub” is amazing!  More upscale than the other places I love to eat, you’d want to go business casual, or at the least your best dress jeans.  I’ve seen  my fair share of kilts and bagpipes in there as well.  The food is amazing.
  10. White Castle – Not something I want often, as you can feel it clogging every major blood vessel and you will burp up the flavor the rest of the day, but they (sliders) are SO good.  I hear that they are awesome for a hangover too,  not that I would have any experience in that area.

That pretty much rounds out my favorite places to eat.  My top 10 anyway, as far as home town munching!

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Wednesday Hodgepodge

I found another great hop/meme recently, so jumping on board and linking up with Joyce, From This Side Of The Pond.  Click the badge above to link up or check out her page. She posts the questions for volume 69 of Wednesday Hodgepodge so here it is:

1. Did March come in like a lion or was it something less ferocious in your neck of the woods?

On March 2nd, it roared in like a lion on crack!  Tornadoes blew in Friday and while we dodged the bullet because they hit all around us (115 miles west, 27 miles south, and 27 miles east) it still rattles my cage when these happen.  And 4 weeks before the start of tornado season in this area.  Then we woke up to a light blanket of snow on Monday.  Go figure.  I’m very hopeful that this is not a sign of the weather to come this spring, I hate storms and very afraid of severe weather.

2.  Speaking of lions, which one’s your film favorite…The Cowardly Lion (Wizard of Oz), Mufasa (The Lion King), Elsa (Born Free) or Alex (Madagascar). You might notice I left Aslan off the list. Including him would have made this question way too easy for many of you.

My favorite is Mufasa from The Lion King.  I loved the movie over all because I felt like it was a good lesson in doing what is right even when it take us out of our comfort zone.  Sometimes it means having to go back and right apparent wrongs but it is important.

3.  What’s your favorite spot from which to view the sunrise or sunset?

Both from the sands of the beach.  I think the beach is God’s therapy couch for us.  Sitting and listening to the waves hitting the shore is so therapeutic and when you toss in a beautiful sunrise or sunset there is just no way things cannot look so much better.

4.  To what extent is knowledge power and to what extent is truth power? What is the difference?

Knowledge is useless without action.  As a team leader in a direct selling business I see this a lot.  There are so many books, interviews, etc from speakers and authors that can arm my team with all they need to know to be successful, but until they put that into action, it isn’t powerful at all.  I think it applies pretty much to any situation, all the knowledge available us useless until we USE it, then it is very powerful and can change lives.

Truth is critical.  Lies, deceit and fabrication are dangerous.  Truth allows us to make informed decisions.  Truth IS knowledge but again, knowing the truth and not using it renders it worthless.

5.  What is something peculiar you’ve seen recently?

Exploding manhole covers!  I didn’t actually see it in person, but rather on the news this morning, from yesterday in our downtown area.  The story carries a viewer video of one of the explosions.  Very scary really, thankfully no one was driving over the cover when it blew!

6.  Bottle water…your thoughts?

Well, in countries where the water is not well filtered, an excellent idea.  When in Mexico I even brushed my teeth with bottled water (imported from the U.S.).  But locally our water is very well treated and frankly I’m too cheap to spend the money on bottled water.  I will fill a water bottle for convenience when I want to take some with me to walk or driving around because it is healthier than drinking soda, but I don’t make a big deal out of tap water vs. bottled.

7.  What is your strongest sense?

Yikes good question.  Probably my ‘6th sense’.  That gut feeling that often guides us out of trouble.  God? Mother’s intuition? Better judgment? Whatever you want to call it, that is my strongest when I pay attention to it.  It has kept me out of trouble and bad situations when I’ve followed it, and I’ve regretted when I did not.

8.  Insert your own random thought here:

Oatmeal.  Yes that is the random thought that just blew through my brain (it is a rather roomy place lately as I seem to have missed placed much of it as menopause is creeping in).  Thinking old fashioned, cooked on the stove top, oatmeal. Yum!

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10 Foods I Love

As a part of the 100 Things I Love series, here are 10 foods I love.  Not necessarily in any particular order, and by no means an exhaustive list!

  1. Chipotle Steak Bowl – you just knew that would be #1, if you know me.  Steak bowl, brown rice, black beans, corn salsa and cheese.  I use the tortilla chips to scoop it up and eat it, much better than a fork and adds some crunch to the meal!
  2. Mom’s homemade bean soup – it is SO good and has a strange memory attached.   The super tornado outbreak on April 3, 1974 made bean soup a food memory.  My mom was making it when we got home from school that day.  Every time the tornado sirens went off she had to turn it off as we headed for the basement.  We now swear in order to make it right, you have to keep turning it off throughout the cooking process.
  3. Black Bean Chili – it came about one time when the ex hubster and I were going to try to make his chili recipe and we had black beans rather than chili beans on hand.  So we used them.  I’ve changed it up some and made it a slightly sweet chili, not spicy hot, but very yummy.  It is a much loved and requested meal in the Diva Den.
  4. Lime Garlic Chicken – mom has a fantastic recipe for it, it is a total Diva Den favorite.
  5. Strawberry Almond Salad – this is a warm weather favorite around here.  Chicken, poppy seed dressing, strawberries, oranges, almonds over lettuce (cannot recall what else is in it).  It is a huge hit at my sister’s former employer’s cafe so she learned how to make it and now it is a big hit here. We all over eat when that is served.
  6. Cheese Burger Soup – a woman at my former church used to make this and it is to die for good.  The ex got the recipe and would make it for football game parties at the house or tailgating at the Bengal games.  I think I need to have my daughter get me a copy. Or maybe the ex will just email it…
  7. Weight Watchers Cabbage Soup – who knew, it is SO good! And supposedly one of those things you can eat all you want.
  8. Gyros – but ONLY from Sebastian’s here in Cincinnati, on the west side of town.  They are without a doubt the very best ever.
  9. Tuna Casserole – I know, totally crazy simple, but my mom makes a good one. It’s comfort food!
  10. Oatmeal – not the instant crap, but the old fashioned, cooked on the stove top kind.  I little dark brown sugar and some walnuts mixed in…YUM!

10 Websites I Love

As a part of the 100 Things I Love series, here are 10 websites I love.  Not necessarily in any particular order, and by no means and exhaustive list! I am going to do a 10 blogs I love to read another time so this won’t include blogs.  It doesn’t include social media either, that is another category on it’s own. :)

  1. The Cincinnati Fire Department History site is one of my favorite. I have 2 brothers and 2 ex husbands that are fire fighters so I have an appreciation for the profession.  The webmaster of this site did a lot of hard work and still adds things to it.  If you are a fire history buff check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
  2. My favorite place to hunt for bargains is Woot as I have found some awesome deals there.  It has to be checked daily and most days I don’t find anything I necessarily want but every so often there is a great deal on good wine or electronics that I just have to purchase!
  3. My latest addiction is Pinterest, a virtual pin board for sticking photos that link me to fashion, food, recipes, quotes, decorating ideas etc that I want to keep track of for future use.  MUCH nicer than saving them in my bookmarks on my browser.
  4. At the moment my Avon site is definitely on top as it is my income aside from daycare and the key to my future.  I love this job and love the products.  Visit me, you can order on the site and have it shipped directly to you, and your business is very much appreciated!
  5. A proud westsider in Cincinnati, I love my local community paper to keep up on what is going on around me.  I can read the e-edition flipping ‘pages’ and seeing the actual paper itself.
  6. I also very much enjoy my township’s webpage to stay up to date on my community.
  7. While I LOVE my Kindle, there is still something that draws me to the library. The Cincinnati Public Library site is one of my top 10 because sometimes buying books for Kindle isn’t in the budget.  Not to mention there is no cluttering up the house, read ‘em and return ‘em. There are events held at the library so I use  the site not only the check for a book but to see what is going on at the local branch.  Or just go curl up in a corner in my favorite land of books to read.
  8. That brings me to my library’s downloadable site for those times when I just want to borrow a book on Kindle and not have to go out to get it or worry about returning it on time.  I need a line item in my budget for over due fees!  Free is always good!
  9. No top 10 would be complete without Google as I use it daily, multiple times a day!
  10. And last but not least Amazon is critical if I do wish to purchase a book for my Kindle, not to mention a bunch of other great things!

10 Activities I love

As a part of the 100 Things I Love series, here are 10 activities I love.  Not necessarily in any particular order, and by no means and exhaustive list!

  1. The Museum Center – I LOVE going to the Cincinnati Museum Center,  so much so that I purchased a single season pass for myself, with parking!  I enjoy looking at the various exhibits of Cincinnati’s history, as well as other parts of the museum.  I also enjoy the films in the Omnimax theater.  I could spend hours just looking at the model of this city from years gone by, each time I go I notice  something new.  When done, I enjoy the gift shop, I could spend hours in the book section!  If you go with me be prepared to spend time READING about things in the exhibits, I don’t like to just wander through, I want to learn!
  2. Moonlight Tour of Spring Grove Cemetery – This past year I went for the first time and it is a definite must do again.  I had no idea how much history is in that cemetery and under the moonlight it is just beautiful.  And yes a tad spooky but that makes it fun!  I toured the Civil War section and next year will be certain to sign up for a different tour (they offer a number for the moonlight tour night) to learn even more about those buried there.
  3. Picnics for two – A beautiful day, a good friend (male of course), a basket full good foods and some wine.  Laying on a blanket enjoying the shade and breeze.  Talking or silently napping on a sleepy afternoon, that to me is a great time.
  4. Small towns - I enjoy walking through small, historic towns like Aurora or Madison Indiana.  Shops, a little pub for lunch, just a lazy day of walking around enjoying the sights and sounds.
  5. Motorcycles – Nothing says de-stress like a ride on a motorcycle.  Wind in my hair, wrapped around a friend and riding like it’s what we are paid to do.  My best times with a dear friend have been days when we rode the entire day, a few hundred miles and some relaxing places along the way.  I’ve only really trusted 2 men to ride me, the ex and Mr. Wonderful.  Hoping for some warm days and LONG rides again in the Spring.
  6. Darts – as in throwing them.  I suck big time but I enjoy it.  I am the only person I know that can hit a trash can 10 feet away from the dart board and at floor level, but I did it!  I got into it while dating a friend, now my son tries to help me when we go out for a few beers to catch up.  It’s sad though very funny to watch.
  7. Walking – I love to walk, but really don’t do it enough.  Great time to clear the mind, work through a problem, or talk to a friend.  There are two parks near me that have walking areas.  One is just a track with a few hills but nothing major, next to the Ohio River so I can watch the river traffic.  The plus is the trains come through on the other side and I LOVE trains so it is a great place to walk.  The other park has trails, with gravel paths.  More than a few hills, some are serious butt-kickers, through the woods, over a creek…it is a wonderful place to walk if it isn’t wet out.  Good exercise.
  8. Watching TV – not many things I like to watch, but when I do, I have a select few shows that will land me on the couch to view:  CSI, CSI:NY, NCIS, NCIS LA, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds and football.  These are about the only things I will take the time to watch on TV.  Usually this is a Diva gathering with mom, sis and the nieces, popcorn and some beer.
  9. Bowling – again, I totally suck at bowling but I enjoy it.  My sister and I were in a league for a while, with the ex-hubby and my kids.  It was a good time but haven’t been in one in a long while.  I think I might need to take that up again!
  10. Crocheting – My hook and some yarn are always a great way to relax.  Lately I have 8 projects in the works and none is close to complete (except for Mario’s Bengal blanket).  I am not sure why but I seem to have a touch of ADD of late and just cannot seem to get focused on them.  I need to get at it again, best way to watch TV without feeling like I’m lazy and doing nothing constructive is to work on a blanket.

The Gift I Most Want

Every year the stress is there of finding those perfect gifts for those I love.  Most everyone I know has everything that they NEED, so what is left is their want list, which is subject to change with every flip of the Sunday paper inserts for what is on sale.  Or a walk through the local mall.

Most years I manage  to find the funds without taking out a loan, to purchase what everyone WANTS.  But this year it will be a lean Christmas, at least as far as money is concerned.  Funny thing, it seems to be going around.  When one woman will spray others with pepper spray to get the item she is wanting to purchase on Black Friday, or two grown men will come to blows over a Barbie Doll (happened here at Walmart in Cincinnati), that tells me that it is more than just getting the must haves.  This seems more and more to be about money.  People are strapped and some flat out broke this holiday season.  Nothing puts stress on a person and a fight between folks like money…or rather the lack of it.

On Thanksgiving my brother, his amazing girlfriend (my future sister-in-law), Angie, and my brother’s kids were here for dinner, along with my dad.  After dinner my son and his fiance and my future granddaughter came over, and my daughter.  Later my other brother arrived with his wife and one of their kids.  Sitting there in the living room with all of these various folks, sharing memories and laughs, I realized that it wasn’t about the traditional meal of turkey and fixings at all.  Thanksgiving was about taking time out of our busy lives to come together and be a family and share time and ourselves with the people we love.  It would not have mattered if we had spaghetti or turkey, what mattered was it was a day to enjoy being together.

I am a very blessed woman, I  have a very good relationship with my siblings, their significant others, and the rest of my family.  I have extremely fond memories of a childhood that while perhaps lean on money, was abundant in love and laughter.  You can buy a lot of things with money, but you cannot run down to Macy’s and purchase what I have…a somewhat dysfunctional, crazy, fun, and LOVING family.  Not for one minute have I ever doubted that my parents love me, or my siblings.  I might never have made “Mom Of The  Year” but I am pretty certain my children know that while I fell short in many areas as a parent, I love them more than life itself.

My ex-husband and I never bought each other things for Christmas, we felt we had everything we needed and when we wanted something we went out and got it.  Well as soon as the funds were available.  All  I ever really wanted from him was to know I was loved, to live  without doubt, to have a stocking full of reassurance that no one held  his heart but me.  Sadly, that is the one gift I never was given.  If what he says is true, he never loved me when he married me and didn’t want to marry me.  But it would be the one I treasured most had I received it.

This year, we are way lean in the Diva Den when it comes to money to buy things.  But one thing we are so very wealthy in is love for each other.  Not a day goes by in this house that there is not laughter.  I tweeted this morning that I am truly happy, and I am.  Recently I viewed a video by someone from my past where she said no one is really happy, just satisfied.  That made me sad for her,that she has never really been happy, making it impossible for her to accept that others could really be happy.  I wake every day, granted slower some than others, but I smile each morning, because I am beyond satisfied, I am HAPPY!  Every day one of us if not each of us women still says “gosh I love this house”.  We  are happy here!  Yes it is a great house, but more than the home it is the 3 households that melted and became one big happy family, where all 5 of us are unique, rub each other the wrong way at times, but we love each other.

I don’t want anything this year that can be purchased in a store.  I want those things no one can buy for me.  TIME spent making memories with the people I love.  Cooking together, going to the museum, Festival of Lights (one year me, parents, sibs and offspring rode the train there singing Christmas carols off key, out of tune, and had a blast), church, throwing darts at the bar, snuggled in bed watching TV…whatever the activity, I want the gift that cannot be returned and is gone once it is given except for the warm place in the heart that lives forever as a memory, TIME.  It is way more precious to me and far more appreciated, because when it comes to time with those important to me, there is never enough.

Of Ruby, Hustler and Bagels

I rarely comment publicly about news going on around me, but this time is different, I had to say something.

I am not some huge fan of Jeff Ruby or any of the restaurants he owns.  It isn’t anything personal, to my knowledge I’ve never been in any of them to know if I like them or not.  I’m on a Chipotle kind of budget and his places are a bit out of my price range of what I care to part with over all for a meal.   That may well change now, I’m giving serious thought to sticking my dollars behind him by dining in his establishments.

First I want to make it clear that I DO think Casey Anthony is guilty of killing her child.  However, I also think the prosecution failed to prove it.  It is proven she lied about a lot of things, but unfortunately there is not one solid shred of evidence to prove her guilty of murder.  It sucks, BIG time.  But we cannot go convicting people because our gut instinct screams yes they did it.  We are a civilized society and our justice system requires proof beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Those on trial are supposed to be presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty in a court of law.  The burden of proof is on the prosecution.  I’d far rather a guilty person go free than an innocent soul spend life in prison or be executed for something they did not do.

In comes Jeff Ruby, a well-known figure around the Cincinnati area who has establishments in other cities too.  He kicked OJ Simpson out of his restaurants because he feels that the man is guilty as sin.  Ditto on the feeling of guilt, but I don’t agree with his kicking him out, because again, he was found not guilty whether any of us like it or not.  However, Mr. Ruby is entitled to ban whomever he pleases and I support his right to do so even if I don’t like it.

Larry Flynt,  owner of Hustler magazine and many related adult stores, I don’t care for one bit.  Has zero to do with his profession, as I totally support adults rights to view what they wish.  If that magazine is up to your standards, or movies or whatever he publishes/releases, more power to you.   I personally prefer a hell of a lot more class in what I view  for erotic  entertainment.  But I don’t think, as long as no one is being harmed in the making of the materials, that it is anyone’s business to tell the public that they can or cannot purchase the merchandise.  I say go for it.  Please spare me the crap about it  exploiting women…you are NOT being exploited when you accept money to take your clothes off!  But that is another post for another time.  I do, in my opinion, believe the only reason he  has come to Cincinnati to  stir the pot is for a bunch of free publicity.  Whatever rocks your boat there buddy.  If Simon Leis and the media  would  ignore you, you’d find other places to seek attention to your enterprises.

Larry Flynt supposedly has offered Casey Anth0ny $500,000 to pose in his magazine.  REALLY???  Nothing like profiting off the death of a small child to get a few feathers ruffled.  That shows such a complete lack of class and talk about stooping to all time lows in the name of making a buck.  Frankly, I’d love to see every man in this country, especially the dads out there, let Mr. Flynt know what a scum bag he is by way of their wallets and NOT purchasing that edition.  It is sick beyond words that he would profit off Caylee’s death, or that her mother would.  And yes, that is exactly what he will be doing because had Caylee not died, no one would  know or give a flying frog’s ass who Casey Anthony is or was.  I hope there is a special place in hell for Mr. Flynt  right next to Casey, they deserve it and each other.

Meanwhile Mr. Ruby has taken out an ad, OJ’ing Mr. Flynt from his establishments.  He is no longer welcome in them because he is  trying to profit from this child’s  death by featuring the mom in her birthday suit.   I  don’t have the adjectives to adequately express my opinion of old Larry, but none would be anything positive.  As for Mr. Ruby, I am very thankful  he has taken such a stand.  He did, for the record, per reports, contact Larry boy and ask him NOT to do this, but guess old Lawrence can only see the potential dollar signs.  Bravo to you, Jeff Ruby.

As for John Marx of Marx Hot Bagels in Blue Ash?  I’d rather have a root canal without the benefit of medication to numb the pain than munch on your bagels.  Yes, you are entitled to ban Mr. Ruby for banning Mr. Flynt, but really????  Go  on and get in bed with the likes of Mr.  Simpson and Mr. Flynt,  it speaks volumes to me of your character.